BATM Hosts Data Analytics Competitions Partnered with the Baltimore Ravens

CBE hosted the final round of its 3rd Data Analytics Competition in Stephens Hall on April 22, 2022. The event was sponsored by the Baltimore Ravens and this semester’s competition brought together 135 students across five TU colleges. The competition featured Cody Williams, Director of Business Intelligence at Ravens who developed the case based on a dataset of Ravens merchandise and apparel sales. The students were tasked with deriving insights through data analysis and pitch ideas of how to drive other opportunities for local sales revenue. 

In the initial round, all submissions of data analysis were judged by the Ravens, with the top 10 teams invited to deliver their final presentations in-person. During the final round, the top three winning teams were selected based on the creativity and utility of data visualization, the clarity and quality of analysis and storytelling, and the originality of recommendations.


1st: Astrid Nina (CBE)

2nd: Brittney Workman (CLA)

3rd: Julia O’Connell (COFAC), Leah Sine (CBE), and Haja Sannoh (CBE/CLA) 


CBE was able to award $5,000 in scholarships to these students. 


After the final presentations, competitors, attendees, and judges were able to interact and network to further discuss all things data and analytics. After observing and conversing with the students, Williams says, “I am hugely impressed by the skill level of the students and where they are today compared to this field ten years ago when I was in college. Analytics was not necessarily even a major offered when I was in school. To see college students producing this quality of analysis work, visualization work, presentation skills, I am very impressed. I feel as though they are all going to be ready and prepared to enter the workforce and contribute right away and do a great job” 


First place winner, Astrid Nina, expressed that she became interested in this competition after seeing all of the other competitions CBE has hosted. She felt that her previous courses prepared her to succeed in the task given. 


Nina expressed, “The data in general was really fun to work with. From doing everything to gather insights in order to see and do what they were asking us to do and then actually figuring it out.” 


She also benefited from networking after the event and believes the competition could impact her future. She adds, “Doing analysis, visualization, and storytelling is something that I am really interested in and I asked him about if they have any opportunities at the moment and he said yes. I will definitely apply, it is an internship opportunity and I am a senior looking for an internship. I am excited about that.”


As the field of data analytics continues to grow, Williams believes that it is imperative to have competitions like this to not only help inform students of real world situations but to also to place importance on analytics in business. He says, “Data and analytics is Paramount. It is hard to imagine businesses operating today without using data to make informed decisions. The techniques, technology, tools, it becomes even more powerful and I think that we will only continue to rely on data more and more to move forward and that is why I am excited to see students really invest in their education in data and analytics and some of these other things because it is the future and the present.”

As analytics continues to impact our everyday lives, the College is proud to offer both a business analytics minor, open to all TU students, and a business analytics track under the business administration major. To learn more, visit our website.  

Written by: Millie Klefsaas

CBE Star Student Spotlight: Karla Kaliman

Karla Kaliman is a Business Administration major with a concentration in HR here in CBE and she is the highlight of our next Star Student Spotlight! 

When sharing her story of what made her join CBE, Kaliman told us “When I met Lisa Simmons, I was confused and unsure about my future and my career. I didn’t know where I wanted to go after finishing my degree in International Relations. I always knew that I wanted to help people and my community on different levels; Lisa showed me a new way to accomplish this goal. She inspired me to join CBE by showing me my ‘incalculable’ love for HR and how I can make a difference for my community by advocating for policies that can truly change an employee’s life and improving the diversity of a workplace to ensure that people feel understood and supported. Lisa saw my potential, personality, and challenged me and pushed me out of my comfort zone to find my passion for HR.”

Kaliman is especially proud of her work during the Live Strategy Case Competition as it allowed her to test the knowledge she has been learning throughout her academic career while also being a great way to get exposed to topics that are beneficial to her career path. “I practiced my teamwork, presentation, and analytical skills by analyzing and researching a specific industry and being able to interpret that information to form an educated assessment for a specific business with real-world experience,” said Kaliman. 

The most helpful classes for Kaliman in her time at CBE have been MNGT 483, MNGT 452, and MNGT 381. Kaliman emphasized how she was able to not only learn the theories ofHR, but also how to apply what she’s learned in these classes. Taking these courses during the pandemic, it stuck with Kaliman how HR is crucial in managing responses to COVID-19 at an organizational level. 

“Human Resources has been the driving force in keeping the workforce and organization engaged, productive and resilient. This situation has illustrated the true value of HR and demonstrated the importance of investing in HR structures and processes.” she said. 

Resiliency is important to Kaliman, as she has been able to overcome adversity and stay true to herself. When giving advice to other CBE students, she wants them to know to “fight to find your purpose and be confident that whatever passion you want to pursue your survival is assured and remember that each person has a message to share simply by owning their own life story and willing to share it with others.” 

After graduation this May, Kaliman hopes to use what she has learned in CBE to lead changes within business and to drive a culture of resiliency with her work. “As a Latina woman who faced systemic discrimination and bias, I would use my skills to help people believe in themselves and help companies make more inclusive employment decisions,” Kaliman said. 

In her final remarks, Kaliman added “I would like to thank CBE for providing me with mental, emotional and practical support when I need it most. For being my ‘happy place’ where I go to be fully present with myself and where I have opportunities to find meaning and a platform to achieve greatness. as well as thank all my professors and mentors who encouraged me to be a better person every day.”

TU Announces New Master Plan

Stephens Hall, arguably one of TU’s oldest and perhaps most iconic buildings, has been home to the College of Business and Economics since 1978. Constructed in 1912, the building has undergone several major renovations and updates throughout its 110-year history. While Stephens Hall, with its distinguished and recognizable clocktower, will remain a steadfast symbol of TU’s history, it will soon become a part of the College’s history as well.

Last month, Towson University announced that after 44 years in Stephens Hall, the College of Business and Economics will be getting a new home. This is, of course, part of TU’s larger vision, as expressed in the 2020-30 Campus Master Plan. The $1.2 billion investment in infrastructure proposes the renovation and addition 1.3 million gross square feet.

Developed under President Schatzel’s leadership, the new Master Plan outlines ten capital priorities. Among them is a new state-of-the-art academic building for CBE. The building will be located on the corner of York and Burke, connecting the north and south sides of campus. A timeline for construction has not yet been determined, but excitement is already building.

“We are thrilled that the TU 2020-30 Campus Master Plan includes a new building for the College of Business and Economics” says Dean Shohreh Kaynama. She adds, “Though we love our Stephens Hall, updated facilities will ensure a sustainable future for CBE and position TU to remain among the very best public business schools in the country.”

Rest assured, however, that while Stephens Hall may no longer house the College of Business and Economics, it is not by any means going away. In fact, the Master Plan includes major renovations to the historic building, maintaining its place in TU’s past, present, and future.

TU’s 2020-30 Campus Master Plan is available in its entirety at

CBE Star Student Spotlight: Nico Boone

Our next star student is Nico Boone. Boone is a Business Administration major with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. He says “ I’ve always enjoyed the many aspects of business and wanted to educate myself on how to be a successful entrepreneur. I knew the faculty and staff would be able to help me develop and provide opportunities for me to exercise my skill set.” 


During his time at TU he has dedicated himself to helping other students outside the classroom. He is involved in various organizations with Towson University including: VIBE Dance Team, Venture Club, Entrepreneurship@TU, the Towson University StarTUp and more! As he reflects on these experiences he says “I’ve had the luxury of being a student aid in educating fellow classmates on entrepreneurship, as well as how to best pitch their business ideas.”


Being a senior in the College of Business and Economics, Boone has been able to experience a variety of different classes. When asked about which class was most valuable to him he says “the classes revolving around entrepreneurship, such as “Creativity & Innovation (ENTR110)” and “Social Entrepreneurship (ENTR380)” have expanded my mindset to what entrepreneurship is, what it can be, and how possible it is for so many individuals. What’s really stuck with me is pitching. Pitching is a life skill, not just a skill used to sell someone on your business. It’s about a story, the story of your business, and getting people invested in your venture.” 


In everything Boone does, he advocates for entrepreneurs. If he could give any piece of advice it would be to  “become an entrepreneur! Don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be afraid to get involved & network with others, and I strongly encourage others to be as creative as they imagine. Turn that idea into a thriving business, and don’t let anyone discourage you.” 


Boone is on track to graduate next month, in May of 2022. After his time at Towson he plans to exercise his expertise in entrepreneurship, branding, and marketing to help others with their businesses at TU StarTUp.  Additionally he plans on expanding his current businesses and creating new ones. Outside of TU,  Boone has  several different interests such as  music & performance art, social media content creation & marketing,  and graphic design. 


As we look to Boone’s future and celebrate his past, we are thankful for his contribution to CBE and look forward to all of the places he will be going in his career. 

Written by: Millie Klefsaas

The Current Supply Chain Crisis – Stimulated Demand Outstrips Constrained Supply

Article written by: Chaodong Han, Professor of Logistics and Chair of the Business Analytics and Technology Management Department*

First, hand sanitizer. Then, face masks. And now, rapid test kits. We have become accustomed to the shortage of personal protective products throughout the pandemic. However, are we ready for the continued shortage of paper towels, toilet paper, table wine, and breakfast cereal? Amazon Prime members are annoyed by a two-week or longer delivery despite a free two-day shipping promise. It is disturbing that prices have skyrocketed for almost everything, including gas, groceries, used cars, toys, clothing, appliances, and furniture.

What has happened? What started as a supply shock caused by production lockdowns in China due to the COVID-19 pandemic spread rapidly to the entire world and triggered a global supply chain breakdown: plant closures, port crises, warehouse idling, and delayed last-mile delivery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the longstanding structural weaknesses of the U.S. supply chain: a shortage of truck drivers due to high turnovers and early retirement, deteriorating roads and bridges, rising labor and fuel costs, inefficient port operations due to unionized workers and aging infrastructure, frequent disputes with major trade partners, and dependence on global supply of critical materials and products due to outsourcing. The pandemic has only worsened America’s vulnerabilities to supply chain disruptions.

Notably, the American Trucking Association estimates that the U.S. was about 80,000 drivers short of the workforce needed to keep goods moving freely in 2021. Regulations including vaccine mandates only make it more difficult to retain the logistics workforce and recruit new truckers and warehouse workers.

U.S. oil firms produced 12.29 million barrels of crude oil per day in 2019 but had to slash production in 2020 when faced with no demand due to lockdowns. With speedy economic recovery, U.S. demand for oil rebounded to 20.6 million barrels per day in 2022. However, the U.S. oil production barely reached 11.85 million barrels per day as of November 2021, much lower than the pre-pandemic level.  Cancellations of the Keystone XL pipeline and drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge combined with geopolitical conflicts only put upward pressure on oil prices. The U.S. has lost its briefly-held status as a net exporter of petroleum. Skyrocketing energy prices add unexpected costs to the supply chain and make frequent deliveries even harder and less desirable.

While supply remains severely constrained by the pandemic and government policies, demand for physical goods has significantly surged due to unavailability of services, historically low interest rates and the U.S. government’s stimulus and relief packages.

The U.S. government responded to the pandemic with expansionary monetary policies and a series of stimulus and relief packages. President Trump allocated a total of nearly a trillion dollars for direct cash payments, expansion of unemployment benefits, grants to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, educational relief funds, and agriculture relief funds through The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and the CARES Act. President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act with a $1.9 trillion price tag, including increased direct cash payments, increased child tax credit, expanded unemployment insurance and benefits, and continuing funding for education, public transit, and rental assistance. The recently signed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act budgeted another $1.2 trillion including $550 billion for infrastructure.

Unsurprisingly, the stark mismatch between stimulated demand and constrained supply has resulted in the current supply chain crisis.

In the transportation sector, the unemployment rate was 4.7% in January 2022, a drop of 4.3 percentage points from 9% a year ago. However, the unemployment rate remains above the pre-pandemic level of 3.4% as reported in January 2020. Millions of jobs are unfilled due to drops in labor-force participation. The U.S. labor force participation rate declined to 60.2% in April 2020, 61.7% in July 2021 and 61.9% in December 2021 from 63% in the pre-pandemic period.

To seek long-term solutions to the U.S. supply chain vulnerabilities, the U.S. federal, state and local governments may ease policies and lift regulations which may have hindered the supply of labor and fuels, keep inflation at bay and speed up modernization of waning infrastructure in partnership with the private sector. U.S. companies may consider transformation of their global supply chains in the aftermath of the pandemic, including diversifying supply bases, shortening supply chains through nearshoring or onshoring, and building a resilient logistics network.

Understandably, pay raises alone may no longer be an easy fix to the labor shortage problem facing the logistics industry. Logistics companies may adopt automation, build a work and cultural environment attractive to new generations, and leverage people analytics to identify potential demographics for truckers and warehouse workers.

*This article represents the research and perspective of Professor Chaodong Han of the Department of Business Analytics and Technology Management.